Changi airport eyes retail with billion-dollar mall

Changi Airport's air traffic control tower as seen from inside Jewel

It's not the first airport splashing cash - a trip to Vancouver International Airport yields a 114,000-litre aquarium, while Dubai Airport boasts a swimming pool complete with sauna and jacuzzi - but Jewel Changi has set a new benchmark for transient opulence.

With YotelAir opening within the Jewel complex, a further 130 rooms are now available, bringing the total number of rooms to 910.

Hung Jean, chief executive officer of Jewel Changi Airport Development Pte.

Singapore, where its airport is a prime tourist attraction, has welcomed the public to its latest development called Jewel Changi Airport, a sprawling complex built to increase Changi's capacity, on 11 April. It offers both local residents and worldwide visitors a multi-faceted experience that includes attractions, unique shopping and dining concepts, as well as airport and accommodation facilities.

Features include a 24-hour gym, and the two-level Komyuniti social hub, which offers co-working and dining space, and overlooks Rain Vortex, the world's tallest indoor waterfall. The belief is that the quality of an airport can sway travel decisions.

Ltd, said it cost 1.7 billion Singapore dollars (1.26 billion USA dollars) to build Jewel in four years, and they expected it would attract 50 million visitors annually.

Play attractions such as the Manulife Sky Nets, Hedge Maze, Mirror Maze and Discovery Slides were created to blend into the unique indoor garden environment and will open in June.

It is part of efforts by Changi - the world's seventh busiest airport for global traffic - to attract long-haul travellers over other hubs such as Hong Kong and Dubai.

Jewel also provides lovely scenery for visitors.

Changi Airport, recently voted in a Skytrax survey as the best in the world for the seventh consecutive year, reported a record 65.6 million passenger movements in 2018.